Weekly Slides

Zest/Enthusiasm - Week 17

By Jeff Bryan

I’ve learned how to turn self-doubt into an energy source and to metabolize fear into a result-producing adrenaline.  

-Michael Strahan

For an in-depth overview of each weekly slide presentation, please skip below to your specific grade level.
  • To see the 1-page Zest/Enthusiasm Character Card and share it with your students’ families, click here.
  • For the P2 Reflection Journals, used by all elementary students at the end of the week, click here.

Starting Monday, Partner Schools nationwide will begin learning about zest and enthusiasm. This is the ability to bring life and excitement to different situations. It often leads to a higher level of involvement and engagement both for individuals and for groups. Those who demonstrate zest and enthusiasm bring energy and intensity to individual and group work. These people are often identified as early leaders and innovators as a result of their outward excitement about a task or project. Look for these people to recruit new group members and generate ideas.

People with enthusiasm and zest are happy, but this strength goes beyond happiness or pleasure. It is an activated positive energy, and associated with self-realization and autonomy. Zest is a strength that has strong connotations with both physical and mental vitality and well-being. It can be fortified through diet, exercise, mindset, and social connection.

This week’s character strength example is Michael Strahan. On both the football field and the television studio he leveraged this strength to energize himself and his teammates. In the below clip, Michael shows Jimmy Fallon the pregame ritual that got the New York Football Giants fired up en route to the 2008 Superbowl.

For individuals, zest and enthusiasm are easily identifiable and highly desirable personality traits. We feel good when we are energized by an activity or opportunity – and we like to spend time with people who are excited about life. Those who demonstrate a high level of enthusiasm are more likely to complete tasks and exceed minimum requirements as a result of their passion.

For groups, enthusiasm and zest are can be directly tied to high levels of success, happiness, and achievement. Enthusiasm is contagious. One person’s enthusiasm can spark others to think, speak, and act with more energy and conviction. Groups that are enthusiastic about tasks are much more likely to spend longer periods of time in service to the group’s overall goals.

And, as a reminder, you can find all of our weekly slide presentations on our website’s Resources page. Enjoy the slides — and please be sure to let us know how it’s going by posting to Twitter and using the #PositivityInAction hashtag!

Jeff Bryan
CEO and Co-Founder of The Positivity Project

Jeff Bryan is the CEO and Co-Founder of The Positivity Project. In this role, he leads the organization to support educators to empower their students to build positive relationships and become their best selves.